Virginia Coach Pete Gillen yesterday suspended point guard Keith Jenifer indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team, the school announced in a statement.
The statement said that Jenifer, a sophomore from Baltimore who has started 14 of 19 games this season, will not be allowed to practice during the suspension. He did not attend practice yesterday.
Gillen and Jenifer were not available to comment last night.
Jenifer leads Virginia is assists, averaging 5.5 per game, and also averages 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds. He is not regarded as an offensive threat, but he is one of the quickest players in the ACC.
With Jenifer out of the lineup, redshirt junior Majestic Mapp is the only natural point guard on Virginia's roster entering Thursday's game at eighth-ranked Maryland. Mapp, who missed the past two seasons because of serious knee injuries, is averaging just 9.8 minutes in the five games he has played in since returning from his latest injury.
Although the reason for the suspension was not immediately clear, Jenifer's off-court conduct has been the subject of scrutiny this season. In December, the Daily Progress of Charlottesville ran a letter to the editor in which it was alleged that Jenifer and other players cursed, harassed and insulted pedestrians in a busy off-campus area after the school's homecoming football game in September.
In a conference call with reporters early last month, Gillen said he spoke with Jenifer concerning the allegations.
"He denied it," Gillen said. "I believe him. Maybe guys were fooling around. There may have been some vulgarity. It's sad that something's got to be put in the paper three months later."
Kansas Tops Missouri
Kirk Hinrich scored 24 points, and Michael Lee made three key free throws in the final seconds to lift No. 12 Kansas over No. 21 Missouri, 76-70, last night.
Nick Collison had 22 points for the Jayhawks (16-5, 6-1 Big 12), who have won 13 of their last 15 and have not lost a regular season conference home game since Feb. 5, 2001, a span of 15 games.
Ricky Clemons had 19 points for the Tigers (15-4, 4-3), whose losses have all been on the road.
It was the 246th game between the schools.